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September 16, 2011

John Senden


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: John Senden, nice playing the first couple of days. You have a little bit of work to do to hopefully to get to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, but through two days you're in good position, in the top 5 right now, and if you keep that position through the weekend you'll be in good shape. And obviously also a win would help you a lot in terms of potentially playing on The Presidents Cup team. A lot to play for. Maybe just some opening comments about a good couple of days for you.
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, I've felt really good, and the golf course is playing great. We've been here two years now with the redesign, and this has been the first year it's pretty much perfect on the greens. The golf course is in great shape. So I think the scoring as it looks is better than it was a couple years ago and even last year.
I think I've been feeling pretty good with my game. It's about me just going out there and doing my job and being composed and feeling like I belong, so go out there and do the job, and I felt -- get out there and get it done.

Q. Does it make it easier knowing what you have to do?
JOHN SENDEN: If you let it distract you, it makes it more difficult. I think that sometimes putting pressure on players makes them sort of focus better, too. I think that basically I came here with no real expectations but to finish as high as I can, and obviously with the position I'm in, I think that it can hopefully -- a good weekend can get your dream, which is the short-term dream of making next week and possible Presidents Cup. But that's a long way away. It's still two days away, and I think that I've got to look at what I'm doing here today and tomorrow and do my job well.

Q. That's the hardest part, right, not letting it get to you now that you've got two days to go?
JOHN SENDEN: It is. I think that if I just keep enjoying it out there rather than making it a grind to know what I have to do, I think that makes it more difficult and that makes it definitely harder. But I think that if I just keep on continuing to play my own game, I don't like to look at leaderboards a lot, but I know what I have to do. I know I have to finish in the top three or four to make next week, and I definitely have to probably win the golf tournament to make the International Team.
That's a -- if I can get that done, that's a feather in the cap.

Q. How would you evaluate your year? You've had a lot of finishes in that 10 to 25 range this year.
JOHN SENDEN: I think I've played consistently well, which you've probably seen by the results. But I feel like I've still got a little bit left in the bag. I feel like I'm improving. I definitely feel like I'm working hard on the short game area, especially looking at stats a lot to improve like inside 100 yards with the wedges and also just general putting. I think I just need to believe in myself better on the greens and knock those five-, six-, eight-footers in more and just feel like I want to improve every day, or if I say to myself, okay, I don't want to drastically improve overnight because that's impossible, but if I can be a better player come January 1 next year, I mean, that's a step up. So I need to keep working on those steps to keep improving as a player, and I'll hopefully get my goals.

Q. How did this course play for you compared to yesterday?
JOHN SENDEN: The golf course was probably, I thought, a little bit easier today. You know, some of the par-3s played a little shorter, and there was definitely less breeze today. I think that if -- if there's breeze on the weekend, it'll probably be maybe one shot more difficult on the weekends.
But the golf course is soft. I think the greens are -- you can attack the pins. You can get at some of those hole locations, whereas 12 months ago when we played here, the greens were pretty hard and they were difficult to get close, so that was the difference in the scoring.

Q. What would it mean to you to play in the Presidents Cup and especially in Australia?
JOHN SENDEN: Well, it would be fantastic. It's one of my dreams. I've been thinking about it for two years now and trying to work as hard as I can to get there. You know, I believe that I would be a good member of the team. I'm a consistent player, love playing at home. I've done well in Australia. Royal Melbourne is one of my favorite golf courses, and it means a lot. It's something that would be -- something you can look back on in years to come and say I was a member of the Presidents Cup team. That would be really exciting and be even more special playing at home. That's not a bad thing for an Australian player.

Q. I was actually going to follow up on the Royal Melbourne thing. If you can pull this thing off, do you have a lot of rounds there? Do you have much experience there? And what are your thoughts on that course if you're able to get your foot in that door?
JOHN SENDEN: Yes, Royal Melbourne is our No. 1 golf course in Australia, classic Sand Belt style course. I've played several tournaments around there back in the '90s. I was playing over here early in the 2000s when the Heineken Classic was played there, so I missed out on that run of events from the European Tour. But we've played Johnnie Walker Classics around there, we've played one Heineken event that was a Coca-Cola Classic, I think, years ago, and then there was one Australian Open around there, as well.
I've probably played it -- I've probably played three or four tournaments around Royal Melbourne, and it's a lovely course. It's definitely -- it's become a little bit probably shorter now with the way that the golf ball has been traveling now over the last ten years at least. But then again, if they get the golf course firm and fast, it makes up for the golf ball going a long way.
I think in November you can get any weather from cold days to hot, northerly breezes, which happened there last time they played there. I remember hot and northerly coming in there and all the fellows were complaining about the flies, I think. But I think it's a great event. It's a great venue.

Q. Was it a couple years ago you squeezed into the TOUR Championship here?
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, I finished 30th, yeah. But I went into the tournament a lot higher ranked, too. But it was good. My first time in Atlanta was a couple years ago, and it was an exciting week, and it was definitely -- with the experience I've had there, it would be fabulous to get back there again. We were all kind of bleeding coming down the stretch, but we eventually made it right on the 30. That was better than 31.

Q. So you still remember much about that day, especially Brandt Snedeker --
JOHN SENDEN: Well, I won't answer any questions about that. (Laughter.)

Q. You mentioned that you wanted to work on that 100 yards and in. You wanted to work on that and putting. I know you did extra work with Ian Triggs. Can you run through exactly what you've done, how much work you've put into that to make that better?
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, I think basically when I'm trying to work on my short game, I'm a player that generally spins the ball a lot, so talking technically, I need to sort of almost change my swing so that I come down with a more shallower angle of the ball so that gives me less spin and allows the ball to be more consistent in that area. Sometimes I think when I've got a steep angle of attack, my yardages are not consistent enough, so I need to be -- that's what we've worked hard on, and that's been a long process because that pretty much goes against what I do with my long game because I generally am late hitting the ball, and with that wedge game hitting it late, it kind of -- steeper divot, gives me a bit more spin, a bit more difficult to keep your distance control on shots. So we've been working hard on that.
You know, so just putting in the time, just putting in the work in that area, being creative, hitting high shots, low shots. I take a look at a player like Phil Mickelson who is very creative around the green, very good at hitting shots from on and around the green, inside 100 yards is excellent. So you look at those players, you look at the -- what say Steve Stricker does or even how Tiger plays, his wedge shot is fantastic. I look at those players, look at their style and try to improve my game around some of those players.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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